Tag Archives: poetry

A New Year’s Day Walk

Goodbye, fair corpse.

A twinge of remorse

Grips me as I place my boot downwind

The frozen moan

Your twisted, blistered mouth uttered

Once upon a snowstorm

Not many days ago.


Sweet 68, according to your driving licence,

And you’re in your Gucci padded men’s down jacket,

Swing tag still on,

With your Scarpa Phantom walking shoes,

Still stickered,

That had never seen the sun

Before they saw the snow,

And your iPhone,

Fresh unboxed,

Wrapped in the warranty leaflet and the plastic protector film

(Not that you’d have got signal at this altitude).

A first-aid kit lies overturned

At your naked, blanched-white ankle

And a thermos cup sits palliatively

At your clenched, outstretched Sherpa glove.

And that is all.


You had dreamed of seeing your youngest son marry

And your grandkids graduate,

Then you sucked in your last breaths

And howled them out


Until the bitter end.


Their love for you just didn’t run warm enough, my friend.


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The Season’s Greetings

‘Happy New Year’:

The brassy, stand-alone shout

Of a snowflake-spangled round-robin,

From a self-made virile voice

Bristling with existential hubris,

In his starched, crisp-collared suit,

Sharp-edged and clean-cut a little too close to the skin,

Like the tell-tale redness

Of a freshly-sheared



You would not know

That a week ago, in his wake,

Had stood a bumbling old oaf

Dusty and musty and engulfed in cobwebs and tat,

If you had not invited the grey head to your hearthside

And watched your innermost longings commune

In the hallowed light of his sad, wise, warm eyes

With all the broken things of this world,

And fallen in love a little,


Before looking away

And quietly locking him back in the attic for the next eleven months

With tree, and tinsel, and plastic Santa Clauses,

Like a dirty secret.

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By the Waters of Babylon

Come sit by the waters of our land of captivity;
Defy its profiteering smile police: weep for Zion.
Turn your tear-stained face from this crass entertainment empire
Lest placated you forget how truth and freedom feel:
Lest you let them make a circus of our Christ-song.

If I should forget thee, O true Kingdom of my God,
Then let my freedom song cease altogether.
Grieve by the waters for the real and the right:
Don’t let them numb the pain with their ephemera.

Come brother, hang your harp on the willow tree with me,
The Lord’s song to them is just a curio.
Don’t let them win a submissive grin lest the winds should change
And you forsake your home, your God, your heart.
Don’t let the culture-colonizers quench our sorrow.


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To the Blood

O blood that rests on fruitless heads
And sets and pays its price for souls as sin-slaves born,
And sows and glows and grows the wandering dead,
And clothes them, live, with scarlet for sin’s frosty morn,

O blood of Jesus, blood of life,
Blood that bears me home to God;
Come save me from my sin-ridden plight,
That I may go out gospel-shod.



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A mediocre poem inspired by a reading of ‘The Cross of Christ’ by John Stott this morning.

O Christ, O God, sacrificed for me,
Can words capture all that you’re worth?
You made yourself nothing so I could be free,
God-man come down, sentenced from birth.

God-man come down, how fragile this life
That raw human will could destroy you?
O sacrifice lamb, you complied with the knife
That the power of the worlds reserved for you.

Statute of old for a world full of vice,
God-crimes are paid in blood sacrifice.
Their blood-debts ran rife, their hearts turned to dross,
So God gave his life for their crimes on his Cross.

O grave, silent Power that drives the earth,
O Master of woes, wails and sins!
The clamour of pomp but a flower-span’s worth,
You drove as a lamb from within.

O Almighty Power, O still small voice,
Quiet as the cosmos and deeper.
Invisible breath in the sails of choice,
O Sacrifice Lamb, be my Keeper.


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